It?s been months since Prime Minister George Papandreou actually came out and said that Greece?s sovereignty has been diminished by the memorandum and the resulting supervision by European Union and International Monetary Fund officials, who, though low-key, behave in a manner that is both arrogant and condescending.
The coldly political manner in which Papandreou made that statement was shocking, as a fact and in its essence. And now, one of our benevolent so-called ?partners? and supervisors, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, confirmed as much in a recent interview with Focus.
Juncker, who is also the chairman of the Eurogroup, told the German news magazine that Greek sovereignty will be limited to a ?massive? degree. The Greek press translated the word ?massive? in a variety of different ways, from ?serious? to ?considerable,? and ?drastic? to ?on a major scale.?
Whether we understand the actual word does not matter; what matters is that the understanding of it has already taken root within us and is very real. We feel dominated and at the same time saddened, ashamed and enraged. The problem is that these same feelings are not shared by the majority of our politicians nor by those who shape public opinion in Greece, be it through the printed word or television, people who view these feelings as signs of intellectual immaturity and political primitiveness.
Maybe we shouldn?t mind so much that the Greek state is dragging itself from one condition of blackmail to another (the fifth tranche of aid has not actually been released yet and the threats of withholding the sixth are already rolling in) and, to even the score, in turn blackmails its own citizens.
Maybe we shouldn?t feel offended that the Greek Parliament either makes a decision and sees it being overturned by Brussels within hours without any real resistance from the government, or sees itself being completely side-stepped with legal fine print that strips it of its right to legitimize privatizations through law.
Maybe we shouldn?t be overcome by a sense of indignation even though we know that limited sovereignty inevitably leads to limited democracy.
Maybe, in other words, we, the ruled, should become just like our leaders.